Florida Woman Poisoned From Liquid Nitrogen

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Florida Woman Poisoned From Liquid Nitrogen

Averi Carlson, Contributor

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In November 2018 at the Don CeSar Hotel in Florida, Stacey Wagers was offered a glass of water that contained liquid nitrogen, almost causing her death. Wagers and her friend were staying at the hotel to celebrate her birthday when the incident happened. They decided to go to the Maritana Grille, a well respected restaurant on the hotel premises, for a birthday dinner. As they sat in a booth, they observed a waiter preparing a desert at a nearby. The waiter was pouring something from a pitcher that caused the desert to smoke. As the waiter walked away, Wagers’ friend told him that she was fascinated with what he poured onto the desert. Without asking any permission, the waiter leaned over and poured the liquid into their cups, causing the water to smoke.

Wagers took a drink of the water not knowing how fatal it would be. Within seconds she fell sick and was transported to a nearby hospital immediately. She was then diagnosed with a perforated gastric ulcer, meaning the nitrogen was burning through the wall of her stomach. After the accident, she said, “There was an explosion in my chest. I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was dying.”

Wagers had to have surgery to remove portions of her stomach because of the damage the nitrogen had caused. The intense freezing caused her to remain in the hospital for several weeks. According to Morgan Adam Brum, “she had to have laparoscopic surgery where they go in and actually scrape away the dead portions of tissue that was in her stomach from being frozen.” Later it was found that during the laparoscopic surgery her gall bladder had been damaged, so she had to have that removed also. Because of the extent of her injuries, she now has regular sore throats, difficulty digesting certain foods, another other severe health conditions for the rest of her life.

Liquid nitrogen is the colorless and odorless liquefied state of nitrogen, and remains at a temperature of -320 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Gene Tulman is an owner of Subzero Nitrogen Ice Cream in St. Pete, Florida. When hearing about the incident at the hotel he said, “We freeze them using liquid nitrogen, which is extremely cold. Liquid nitrogen is completely harmless as long as it’s handled and used properly.” Even the slightest touch can cause skin damage and direct intake can cause death.

According to the hotel manager, the waiter did not know how deadly the liquid was. However, Brum states, “The hotel staffers should have trained its employees to adequately warn customers about the dangers and possible injuries of ingesting liquid nitrogen.” On October 11, 2019, a lawsuit was filed to sue the Don CeSar Hotel for the actions that took place. The suit calls for more than 15,000 dollars from the Don CeSar Hotel and Carlos Cepero, who is the director of the restaurants of the hotel and many others.

The Don CeSar hotel was a world-famous hotel that was expected to be a fun experience for Wagers’ birthday, but with the following events turned it into a disaster.